New updates surrounding Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3090 Ti and 3070 Ti 16GB have come in, with the former reportedly being released (finally) on March 29th, according to the Chiphell forums. The 3070 Ti 16GB on the other hand, has apparently been killed off for undisclosed reasons.
The circumstances surrounding the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti have to be one of the strangest we've seen from Nvidia yet. Early in January at 'virtual CES 2022' — three months ago now — Nvidia officially teased the 3090 Ti, confirming months of rumors about the FPU's existence. It didn't give full specs or an official release date, stating that it would provide further details "later this month."
The end of January passed with no additional word, and Nvidia failed to keep its promise during February as well, keeping everyone in the dark about the GPU. Officially, this still holds true as Nvidia has not revealed the release date just yet, or the full spec sheet of its new GPU flagship.
Going by previous rumors, we believe we already know all the changes Nvidia is making to its RTX 3090 Ti — whether or not it finally launches on March 29. The GPU will be a successor to the RTX 3090, packing a fully enabled GA102 core, with 10,752 CUDA cores and an upgraded memory system. The RTX 3090 Ti will still get the same 24GB frame buffer as its older sibling, but it will also be getting a memory upgrade to 16Gb GDDR6X ICs, cutting the number of memory chips on the PCB by half (from 24 to 12). These chips are also rumored to be running at 21Gbps, giving the RTX 3090 Ti over 1TBps of memory bandwidth.
Despite these upgrades, the RTX 3090 Ti is only receiving a 9% memory bandwidth upgrade and a 2.4% core count upgrade over the RTX 3090. Core clocks will likely be higher as well, but we don't expect the 3090 Ti to massively outperform its non-Ti predecessor. The reduction to 12 GDDR6X chips should be a very welcome change, as this upgrade could potentially improve memory cooling, power consumption, and memory reliability.
Sayonara, GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 16GB
Rumors surrounding the RTX 3070 Ti 16GB have been around for as long as the RTX 3080 12GB rumors existed — before Nvidia officially launched that SKU. But it now appears that Nvidia is ditching the 16GB version of the 3070 Ti entirely.
Unlike the 3080 12GB, which featured both memory and core count upgrades, rumored upgrades for the RTX 3070 Ti 16GB only applied to the memory capacity itself, which would have been upgraded from 8GB to 16GB. A core count upgrade was seemingly not in the cards for Nvidia with the 3070 Ti 16GB, unless the company decided to move the card to GA102 silicon, since the current RTX 3070 Ti uses a fully enabled GA104 with 6144 cores.
16GB of VRAM would have been a welcome upgrade to the 3070 Ti, since 8GB has proven to be somewhat lackluster on the most demanding AAA titles today featuring ray tracing technology. The extra 8GB of memory would have helped give the 3070 Ti more endurance for gamers wanting to keep their GPU for more than 2-3 years, without the need to reduce texture and graphics details. At the same time, in most situations where 16GB is beneficial, a faster GPU and more memory bandwidth would also be needed. It seems Nvidia has decided the 16GB SKU wasn't necessary after all.
Again, both of these come from Chiphell rumors, so take this information with a dash or two of salt.
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Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.